Communication Connection

Friends of COM Newsletter

Events and Happenings

COM Hosts Biennial Conference: IMC and The Polis

Friday, February 21, 2014

By: Danielle Walters

Academic conferences not only offer their guests a place to exchange ideas in their field but also a new city and culture to learn about. The guests of the 2nd Biennial IMC Conference got the full coastal Carolina experience when they visited UNCW during Tropical Storm Andrea. The gusty winds and pouring rain didn’t keep these scholars away from exchanging ideas on Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) over the summer.

This year’s conference theme, IMC and the Polis, was created and hosted by our very own Dr. Jeanne Persuit. IMC and the Polis, what she calls a “special boutique,” is geared towards other professors who also teach Integrated Marketing Communication. Scholars from all over the world came to Wilmington to discuss a variety of topics and ideas on how IMC is used in the public sphere. These conferences are also beneficial to students without even attending because it is a great way for professors to take the information they learned and bring it to their own classrooms. Communication Studies Department Chair, Dr. Olsen, stresses the importance of our university hosting conferences, “a relatively small school can come up with great ideas and it is important to share them with others. A great way to do that is through a conference.” He adds that it is a “tremendous learning experience for our students.”

This year’s Keynote Speaker was Dr. Ronald C. Arnett, a leading scholar in Communication Ethics and chair of the graduate program at Duquesne University, the first university to teach IMC at the doctoral level. Many other ideas were exchanged through presentations on topics ranging from IMC and the Medieval Polis to IMC and the Sports Polis. Dr. Persuit presented on Crisis & IMC, exploring not only what is helpful with Crisis Communication in the public sphere but also what is problematic.

After all of the qualitative, quantitative, and interpretive works were presented on campus, the conference moved to historic downtown Wilmington for a little bit of fun. Guests feasted on a taste of coastal Carolina favorites like crab dip, shrimp with grits, and the famous Carolina BBQ while enjoying a little bit of history. Dancers entertained guests with a performance of the “Shag,” a dance that originated right here in Southeastern North Carolina.

“People were really impressed with UNCW, Wilmington, our students, and our program. So this conference does a lot for our department, students, and UNCW,” says Dr. Persuit. The 80 attendees of the conference will then go back home to their universities and continue to spread the word about UNCW and our great reputation.

This three day conference was brought to a close with a performance from our very own The Schoolboys, because let’s face it, what’s a COM Studies event without one?